In case you couldn't tell, LVMH is not exactly over the moon about the lawsuit being brought against it by Hermes, or the investigation launched by French market authority AMF into the mysterious ways in which it became a major shareholder in the French luxury brand.
Not much has come of the case yet aside from both sides launching accusations at one another, until today. A hearing is currently taking place at the AMF’s sanctions committee in Paris and LVMH has already made it clear that they are not having any of it.
For one, according to WWD, LVMH wants AMF's investigation annulled, claiming the market authority is biased against LVMH and that Hermes has been trying to influence the proceedings. LVMH's lawyer Georges Terrier also said it would be "impossible" to have a fair trial, as they have been unable to fully prepare their defense because AMF had purposefully prevented LVMH from accessing parts of the investigation.
LVMH vice president Pierre Godé added that AMF had all the information necessary to discredit Hermes' "campaign of denigration and slander against LVMH," but intentionally withheld it, allowing the campaign to go on.
AMF's investigation does state that there is no evidence of manipulation of Hermès’ share price on LVMH’s part, nor of insider trading--both of which were among Hermes' initial accusations.
LVMH still has to prove that it did not sketchily (not official law lingo) and illegally amass a 22.6% stake in Hermes by secretly investing in amounts low enough that it didn’t have to disclose those investments publicly, as the report, which recently leaked in a French paper, indicates.
Think they'll still go with that "it was an accident" excuse?